Europe has been shortsighted
There has been a radical policy shift in the last few weeks as Europe comes to grips with the ramifications of its increasing dependence on Russian energy supplies over the past couple of decades. Germany has finally backed out of its support for the Nord Stream 2 project and the whole of Europe has announced that they will be reassessing their energy policies.
However, as much as Europe is planning to move towards a new energy policy that reality is still some way off and we continue to buy Russian energy. The West’s sanctions on Russia are disruptive but they still appear to be far from the killer blow that they could have been if Europe was less reliant on Russian gas. The EU has pledged to reduce imports by two thirds by the end of 2023 but this is too little too late.
We had all the warnings necessary for Europe to change course. The annexation of Crimea, the Salisbury attack, the Kremlin’s actions in Georgia and Ossetia just to name a few. Yet at every turn we have increased our reliance on imports. Even now, Germany is shuttering three nuclear reactors before the end of the year and the UK’s oil and gas regulator has ordered the end of fracking operations in Lancashire. These are the sorts of short-sighted measures that should have been discarded long ago, let alone during Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.